Three new train carriages ordered from Mexico for the Kingdom’s rail services will arrive in October, an executive of Royal Railways said.
The Royal Group subsidiary, which in 2010 won a 30-year concession to operate and upgrade the Kingdom’s rail network, began running a new service in mid-April from the capital’s city centre to Phnom Penh International Airport.
Though the new carriages were expected in June, Royal Railways CEO John Guiry said on Tuesday that delivery had been pushed back four months. However, he said the carriages were soon to be put on a ship bound for the Kingdom.
“The carriages have left the factory in Mexico and are now at the port, ready to be shipped. They could take between six and eight weeks to arrive and should be here in mid- or late-October,” he said.
Guiry said two of the three new carriages will be used for the airport route, while the third will be used occasionally on the Poipet- and Sihanoukville-bound journeys.
Free until November
Since its launch earlier this year, the airport train route has drawn complaints from residents living along the tracks, noting the noise pollution and traffic accidents.
Ministry of Public Works and Transportation spokesman Va Simsorya said that the new train carriages will be more modern and would change the perceptions travellers have toward the service.
“We hope that the new carriages will help to increase the number of passengers and reduce some of the negative impacts of the service,” he said.
From the city centre’s train station on Monivong Boulevard, the train currently takes around 35 minutes to reach the airport. It departs at 40-minute intervals from 5:30am to 2:30pm. Guiry said an average of 1,500 passengers utilise the service daily.
Fares have been waived until the end of October for the train route to the airport. But Guiry declined to disclose the fares that would be charged from November.